To say that Battlefield V has had an uphill battle before the game actually released is an understatement.  I won’t go into the ins and outs of why fans were unhappy with the pre-release reveals, as I just want to concentrate on what we’re here for, to talk about the review of the game.  In a nutshell, Battlefield V is quite the mixed bag of tricks.  If you put some of the alleged inaccuracies of the story-telling aside, the War Stories campaign was very enjoyable indeed, offering various takes and untold perspectives on World War 2.

At the time of release, only three of the four stories were available for the campaign, and other features and modes were missing in action.  However, thanks to time restraints and not having a review copy until after launch, by the time this review has gone out, some of those features are now available.  So now at the time of writing, we have the fourth and final chapter to War Stories, the Practice Range, vehicle cosmetics and other multiplayer offerings.  Which to be honest, it’s quite poor that neither of these features were available at launch and surely it done more harm than good for the game, but here we are.

With Battlefield V ditching the traditional season or premium pass in favour of the “live service” in terms of content such as multiplayer modes and maps, no one will be left out as it will all be free.  Which in truth, I’m in favour of, because it means that no one is locked out of content.  However, it does perhaps give some publishers an excuse to release certain games missing content at launch, such as Battlefield V.  We’ve got various multiplayer modes coming our way a little further down the line.  However, the biggest absentee is the highly anticipated battle royale mode known as Firestorm, which to be fair from my understanding, development of that mode began quite late on in Battlefield V’s cycle, but we can expect Firestorm to launch during March 2019.  But that’s enough of what’s coming, so let’s concentrate on what we have right now.

War Stories returns from Battlefield 1 and offers a collection of four stories (not including the short My Country Calling prologue), each with their own unique perspectives on the war.  Under No Flag see’s you playing as failing criminal, Billy Bridger agreeing a deal by George Mason to get out of prison to embark on a mission to North Africa to destroy Nazi airbases.  Nordlys takes you to a Nazi occupied location of Norway, with you playing a young woman who is a part of the Norwegian Resistance, who takes the fight to the Nazi’s to rescue her captured mother, and also put an end to their atomic weapons program once and for all.

Tirailleur, which is probably my favourite of the War Stories and perhaps the most real tale, tells the emotional story of the Senegalese Tirailleur’s involvement in the war as they take a vital role in saving France from being occupied by the Nazi’s.  I found this to be quite a powerful story, which is only heightened by the fact that the Tirailleur were only quite recently honoured for their brave and vital sacrifice in WW2.  The final War Stories (which has been available since December 7th after a short delay), is The Last Tiger, which offers an interesting perspective on the war, this time from a Tank Commander known as Peter Muller, where he and his crew doubt whether their cause is true and if they are truly fighting the good fight.  At times I felt a little uncomfortable playing as a Nazi, but ultimately it’s a powerful message come its conclusion.

If there’s one word that can often describe the multiplayer of the Battlefield series, is that on a large scale, it can be quite ‘epic’.  The two biggest modes in Battlefield V are arguably Tides of War and Grand Operations.  In terms of scale, Tides of War is quite similar to that of Grand Operations, in which 64-players will be split into two teams and they will fight it out in large maps to win that battle with each having a set objective.  However, each week the Tides of War battles will be updated and during that time you have your own set objectives that will earn you rewards such as new weapons and bonus XP.  While Grand Operations will last over several matches, as you fight and claw towards the final battle, with the outcome of the previous battles, including resources will carry over into the next.

Other modes include Conquest, where you must capture and hold flags in a 64-player battle, Breakthrough is kinda similar to Conquest, only this time other then capturing or defending flags, you must also prevent the opposing team from breaking over into your territory line.  Frontlines is a small scale battle with set objectives for each team, Domination requires you to hold the majority of the flags and kill the enemy in order to win.  Finally there is Team Deathmatch, which is your usually objective of the team that gets the most kills, wins.  There are other modes on the way, such as Tank Battles Belgium (between now and January), Rush (between January and March), then Combined Arms (a four-player co-op mode), as well as the battle royale mode known as Firestorm arriving sometime from March.  More details can be found here.

After spending several hours with the multiplayer modes that Battlefield V currently has on offer, I’ve perhaps not enjoyed them as much as I would have liked.  While modes such as Grand Operations and Tides of War attempt to offer something interesting, at least on paper, I found them to be quite the slog and I really had to push myself to persevere with them to see them through until the end, even when our teams were winning.  I also found the hit to death ratio to be quite frustrating, where like Call of Duty’s of old, in Battlefield V, it seems to be a case of ‘who shot first, gets the kill’, rather than who might land accurate headshots.  Unlike Black Ops 4, which has made changes to counter this problem and as a result, I found Black Ops 4’s multiplayer to be much more enjoyable out of the two, which is something I did not quite expect.  But this time to kill aspect is just my personal preference, and others will have no problem with it.

This issue becomes even more frustrating when some opposing players will camp just outside of your spawn base (enough to not be detected instantly) and they will snipe kill you from a distance.  Thankfully you can in most cases spawn on a fellow team player, but if you want to spawn at base to perhaps get a vehicle, expect there to be a chance of being spawn-killed (perhaps a few seconds on invincibility on base spawns can counter this?).  I really wanted to enjoy the multiplayer modes that Battlefield V has on offer, but they just seem to be missing that special something and other then playing the generic Team Deathmatch, I found myself not having nowhere near as much fun as I had hoped.  Hopefully by the time the battle royale Firestorm comes about, that may have changed, but we’ve got a long wait until then.

In terms of visuals and sound design, as it’s always been with this series, Battlefield V is one of the most visually impressive games that you’ll play this year and takes full advantage of the Frostbite Engine.  From its texture implementation, exquisite attention to detail to its landscapes and quite stunning lighting effects, Battlefield V is a visual spender.  These elements are supported furthermore by its sublime sound design and fantastic voice acting, which all sound quite stunning when using a quality headset.  So I can only imagine how fantastic it all performs on a surround sound system.  The one thing that I will say about the voice-acting and dialogue however, is that while I fully appreciate some of the chapters being in their native language with subtitles, as it adds to the immersion, having white font in the chapters such as the snowy Norwegian sections of Nordlys, makes some of the subtitles very difficult to read at times.  So it would be great if EA includes a change of font colour with a forthcoming update.

In conclusion, I would have perhaps liked to have at least one of the War Stories chapters featuring a well known historical moment from WW2, but at the same time, I also appreciate a perspective on the untold stories, with the emotional mother & daughter chapter Nordlys and the Tirailleur chapters being the two standouts.  However, despite the multiplayer lacking that special something compared to the likes of Bad Company 2, it’s still a competent enough addition that will be well supported into the New Year and beyond.  Battlefield V is unlikely to win over any new fans, but if you’re a long-time fan sat on the fence, then Battlefield V is very worthy of your consideration at this time, especially considering you can pick this game up at some great sale prices right now.  Despite what you may or may not have heard, don’t rule this series out just yet, as Battlefield V still has plenty of life in this old dog yet.



Author

Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake